Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

my wife used the money made from her separate house that we sold, after I paid to fix it up to where it would sell, down on another house that we bought as JTWROS.

Does she get a reimbursement on the down payment

Asked on 7/11/14, 1:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kevin Henderson Kevin Henderson Attorney at Law

Not unless the marriage is dissolved either by death or divorce. A claim for reimbursement only matures when a marriage ends. Until then, there is no claim.

What I think you are really describing is a situation where the wife's separate estate and the community estate own interests in the new house in proportion to their respective contributions to the purchase price of that home. The community estate may have a reimbursement claim against the wife's separate estate for the increase in value of her separate property home when it was fixed up to sell. Reimbursement claims in situations like this are not dollar-for-dollar but are measured by the enhancement in value to the benefited marital estate.

Reimbursement claims are not "rights" to property. They are equitable claims that a judge may use to make an estate whole for that estate's contributions to another estate. These claims, in my experience, are dependent on how the judge views the case as a whole.

So, no, the wife does not really have a reimbursement claim. What she, or more accurately her separate estate, has is an actual ownership interest in the house. For example, if wife's separate estate contributed $10,000 and the community estate contributed $90,000 toward the purchase price of $100,000, then wife's separate property interest in the house is 1/10th and the community interest is 9/10ths.

This is about all I can tell you without actually seeing the deed. It is possible that certain language in the deed could change parts of this response.

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Answered on 7/12/14, 12:38 pm

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